Namibia – Scaling up fisheries production through capacity building for environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient aquaculture
Fishery stocks in Namibia are subject to pronounced natural fluctuations due to the general instability of the oceanographic environment and to climate change. Some fish populations have completely broken down over a period of time and changes in species composition have been observed. To avoid food shortages and food insecurity, the country must be ready to adapt and respond to environmental and climatic variations.
Even though Namibia is one of the driest countries in the world, it has the potential for tremendous growth in both marine and freshwater aquaculture. For this reason, the Intra-ACP GCCA+ Programme, in partnership with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources of Namibia, supported the development of environmentally sustainable, climate-resilient inland fisheries and freshwater aquaculture in Northern Namibia, through technical assistance and a capacity building programme.
The technical support, which spanned from October 2018 to June 2019, enabled national institutions to design and deliver high-quality and effective training, in practical and forward-looking aquaculture and fisheries options. This has helped local fishermen and fish farmers face climate change challenges, in line with Namibia’s Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) 2017/18 – 2021/22, the National Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2013 – 2020, the Namibia Zero Hunger Strategy, Vision 2030, and the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
Through the training, participants explored opportunities such as the ones brought by rains which are flooding previously dry lands where tons of freshwater fish can be produced by stocking water and practicing aquaculture.
The training sessions also contributed to the development of Climate Adaptive Fish Farm Management Plans with protocols at Government fish farms, and led to the conception of two integrated aquaculture project proposals to enhance the food security and income generation of rural inhabitants. In addition, one study on climate proof infrastructure redesign and four research proposals emanated from the training. The studies will allow mass production of fish under controlled environmental conditions and the optimisation of fish feed production.
- 37 representatives of government institutions trained on the development of sustainable, climate-resilient inland fisheries and freshwater aquaculture.
- Two project concept notes produced: 1) Climate adaptive integrated fish culture with water efficient drip irrigation; and 2) Development of Inland Culture-based Fisheries in Namibia.
- Four research proposals emanated from the training: 1) Mass production of fish under controlled environment conditions; 2) Investigating the right time to administer Diflubenzuron insecticide to fertilised water in order to optimise the production of Rotifers; 3) Production of zooplankton as live feed for African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus) fry; 4) Search for sexually reproducing populations of Artemia salina in Namibia
- This initiative also contributed to the identification of local sources of Artemia or brine shrimp to feed the African catfish, since tests showed that the survival rate of the species reaches 95% when this crustacean is used. As a result, links were established between the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and a private supplier of Artemia, as it is not readily available in Namibia. The catfish were previously fed with boiled eggs, but their survival rate was only 1%.
- Overall, this initiative has contributed to the main objective of the Namibian National Aquaculture Master Plan to raise freshwater output to 4,000 tonnes per year, as well as to increase marine aquaculture production tenfold, from 525 tonnes in 2015 to 5,500 tonnes, by 2023.